They say you're never too old to learn new things. Step by step, 76-year-old Pamela Clark from Florida is making her own birthday wish come true. She wants to complete the Appalachian Trail by March 29, just in time for her 77th birthday a day later.
"This is on the list," Clark said.
But it wasn't always on the list. The idea only came to her recently, and she had never backpacked before, so she trained with a local group.
"The first time that I went they put up my tent. I did not put up my mattress and I did not eat dinner and I slept for 14 hours and that was eight miles in Florida flat," Clark said.
It took two more attempts until she felt ready, giving herself the trail name "Birthday Girl." She started in Maine, making her way down. But an elbow infection put the hike on hold, but not her dream.
"One of the people that I leapfrog with said you know what, if you did 10 miles a day for 80 days you could do it," Clark said.
So she started back up in Maryland and has made her way to the Lehigh Valley section.
"Pennsylvania has been amazing about sending out people to hike," Clark said.
"I think it's amazing because two days ago I started helping birthday girl, I was not as prepared, I'm a hiker, I know but, my feet are freezing, my hands were freezing, I was going back to my car, my home. She was going to shelter to sleep at a cold shelter and I thought, 'go, girl!'" said trail guide Bernadette Libensperger.
The birthday girl will be the first to tell you this is not easy.
"The trail is like a marriage, at the beginning you think it's going to be really rosy. It doesn't always go down the path, but you do it anyway," Clark said.
So she continues, and shares her secret to staying young at heart as she tries to become the oldest woman to hike the length of the Appalachian Trail.
"I think it's your DNA and determination," Clark said.